Whereas we misplaced the visionary designer Virgil Abloh earlier this week, we are likely to see new examples of his prolific creativity emerge for months, or even years, to come.
Case in point: Mercedes-Benz, with the blessing of Abloh’s family, has just revealed a concept car designed by Abloh alongside the corporate’s chief design officer Gorden Wagener. Rethought from the bottom as much as encourage the route of the automotive business, it’s a stunning, cohesive contradiction that questions a number of foundational tropes of automotive design. Additionally, I would like one.
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]Referred to as Challenge Maybach, the automotive reimagines the classic Mercedes Maybach—the corporate’s omnipresent luxurious sedan—as an electric-powered, off-road coupe.
Abloh’s earlier collaboration with Mercedes put NASCAR-inspired wheels and nets on a G Wagon. It was provocative, however was extra akin to a reskin than a full redesign.
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]For Challenge Maybach, Abloh demonstrated no such restraint. Its boxy silhouette, with a dauntingly lengthy entrance finish, sits someplace between a Nineteen Seventies muscle automotive and an artwork deco automobile design of the Thirties. There could also be no fuel engine inside, however that outsized entrance finish is one large set of photo voltaic cells to extend the automotive’s vary, as a substitute.
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]Flip to the entrance, and also you’ll see an outsized entrance grill and hood decoration that harkens again to 100 years of Mercedes’s posh design. However then, Abloh and Wagner add a heavy dollop of off-road options. The automotive sports activities oversize tires that look like they had been pulled off a Jeep. A mix roll cage and baggage rack sits atop the automobile, and this steel piping protects the entrance bumper, too. This choice is extra in step with a dune buggy or ’80s pickup truck—an aesthetic fueled additional by the incorporation of spherical spotlights throughout the highest of the automotive and beneath the entrance bumper.
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]As for the inside, there seems to be loads of room for 4. However the workforce opted for simply two seats, able to leaning all the best way again as beds, in a cabin with further lighting and shelf options that look impressed by a first-class airplane lounge. I think about driving this Maybach too far into the wilderness, laying again, and tenting out for the night. As for the seats themselves, the outside shell resembles a hard-pack baggage bag. However the curler floor is extra like a mid-century Italian chair: Maybe something made by Fabio Lenci, or this ’80s lounger by one among Abloh’s favourite architects, Mies van der Rohe.
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]All of those motifs ought to conflict conceptually and visually, however Challenge Maybach works. It’s a sharp automobile with a compelling, authentic identification. As such, don’t be shocked in case you see a few of these similar concepts lifted, by Mercedes and elsewhere, within the decade of untamed electrical automobile experimentation to come back.